What a year 2011 was for The SC Team! Not only did I bake cupcakes and sweet stuff for: Microsoft FTEs, DList staffers, happily engaged AND married couples, at&t Hackathon-ers, and of course, my friends and family!
I met so many wonderful people and made connections at: Google Places, Girl Power Hour events, thinkspace networking events, Bellevue/Redmond Chambers events, and of course, the use of social media and blogs. Thank you readers!!!
Special kudos: To my very talented graphic designer, Jessica! She personally reached out to me and wanted to be a part of the SC Team. Without, I would not have my original logo or the ambition to reach out to other businesses, like how you did.
TO: Joanne and my dad for being the "business brains" S.C.O.R.E mentors for offering wonderful and savvy advice.
Also, to my supportive friends and family (Thanks mom and dad for being my taste testers!). And realizing the personal ambition, talent, and brains I never "had" until I started SC.
Not only do I bake sweet stuff, I love seeing what is out there in the pastry/dessert industry. Enjoying seeing what bakeries and catering companies offers lets me "in" on what consumers are demanding. Last year brought much change to the everyday cook and baker: The expansion of the farmers market is growing, not only in major cities, but in major/minor suburbs. The words "gluten-free" and "Celiac disease" is common in our everyday vocab. And, cupcakes are taking over a traditional wedding cake.
Here are my top 3 dessert predictions for 2012:
1) More ethnic desserts will be featured in major restaurants:
Especially in Seattle, ethnic cuisine is HUGE. There is a pho shop, sushi place, Italian joint, and Korean BBQ on almost every corner. Many American-based restaurants are already infusing ethnic-flavors in their menu because it is popular AND delicious! What is next: adding ethnic-inflused flavors to major desserts. Green tea poached pear? Indian-spiced nuts on top of burbon-vanilla ice-cream? Red bean rice pudding with sesame seed tuiles? YES, PLEASE.
2) Not only mini cupcakes, MINI COOKIES/BROWNIES/DESSERTS:
Why mini? People do not feel as guilty eating something small versus eating something big...no matter what it is, sweet or savory. Plus, ordering small amounts of small items saves money over buying large amounts of large items. With everyone's busy schedule, most people are in-and-out of events in less than one hour and have time to only grab a "bite or two," not a whole meal.
3) Beer-infused dishes/desserts:
Seattle has a large wine community thanks to our lovely wine country. Most foodies are also wine peeps, who are also coffee and beer peeps. Don't forget about Seattle's well-know local breweries and the impact they have in our food industry. Red wine buttercream? Yes, I have made it before and it turned out FANTASTIC. Beer-braised beef? Chocolate-stout cake? Beer-battered fish? Look for it this year.
Overall, trends come and go. Foodies come and go and come in all types. But what I have noticed from working in the food industry, people want one of two things:
1) Something fresh and different from the major.
2) Something original/familiar, but BETTER than before.
Happy cooking and baking in 2012.